Dr Luisa Madeira

Research interests

Plant biotechnology. Molecular farming. Biochemistry. Immunology.

Group Leader: Professor Renier Van der Hoorn


Plants have been used to produce recombinant pharmaceutical proteins and vaccines as a low-cost, scalable and safer alternative to traditional systems such as mammalian cell cultures. However, low yields have been one of the main disadvantages of this platform, partially due to the proteolytic activity of proteins present in the plant apoplast, the ultimate destination of the recombinant proteins.

As a postdoc at Prof. van der Hoorn group, I have been exploring activity-based protein profiling as tool to identify and study apoplastic proteases responsible for degrading recombinant proteins, with a focus on two anti-Ebola antibodies. My ultimate goal is to increase antibody accumulation in plants after silencing of apoplastic proteases.


Contact details




Madeira, LM, Szeto, TH, Henquet, M, Raven, N, Runions, J, Huddleston, J, Garrard, I, Drake, PMW and Ma, JK-C. (2015) High-yield production of a human monoclonal IgG by rhizosecretion in hydroponic tobacco cultures. Plant Biotechnol J. doi: 10.1111/pbi.12407.

O’Keefe BR, Murad AM, Vianna GR, Ramessar K, Saucedo CJ, Wilson J, da Cunha NB, Araújo ACG, Lacorte CG, Madeira L, James B. McMahon and Elibio L. Rech. (2015) Engineering soybean seeds as a scalable platform to produce cyanovirin-n, a non-ARV microbicide against HIV. Plant Biotechnol J. 13(7): 884-92.

Drake PMW*, Madeira LM*, Szeto TH, Ma JK-C. (2013) Transformation of Althaea officinalis L. by Agrobacterium rhizogenes for the production of transgenic roots expressing the anti-HIV microbicide cyanovirin-N. Transg Res 22: 1225-1229.
*contributed equally to this work.

Grudzień Ł, Madeira L, Fisher D, Ma J, Garrard I. (2013) Phase system selection with fractional factorial design for purification of recombinant cyanovirin-N from a hydroponic culture medium using centrifugal partition chromatography. J Chromatography A 1285: 57-68.

Sabalza M, Madeira L, van Dolleweerd C, Ma JK-C, Capell T, and Christou P. (2012) Functional characterization of the recombinant HIV-neutralizing monoclonal antibody 2F5 produced in maize seeds. Plant Mol Biol 80: 477-488.

Paul M, van Dolleweerd C, Drake PM, Reljic R, Thangaraj H, Barbi T, Stylianou E, Pepponi I, Both L, Hehle V, Madeira L, Inchakalody V, Ho S, Guerra T, Ma JK-C. (2011) Molecular Pharming: future targets and aspirations. Hum Vaccines 7: 375-382.

Brinckmann S, da Costa K, van Gils MJ, Hallengärd D, Klein K, Madeira L, Mainetti L, Palma P, Raue K, Reinhart D, Reudelsterz M, Ruffin N, Seifried J, Schäfer K, Sheik-Khalil E, Sköld A, Uchtenhagen H, Vabret N, Ziglio S, Scarlatti G, Shattock R, Wahren B, Gotch F. (2011) Rational design of HIV vaccines and microbicides: report of the EUROPRISE network annual conference 2010. J Transl Med 12: 40.

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